drdwilcox.com - living a principled life

What is the principled life?

A principled life is not necessarily one that is admirable. Rather, it is a life which is driven by a set of principles as opposed to an overriding vision. A principled life is then seen in contrast to a purpose-driven life. These are not necessarily competing notions - I am not here taking on Rick Warren. Instead, I would prefer to see them as complimentary or alternative approaches to living one's life.

I have come to this view over the past few years as I have begun to understand that I would rather be known as consistent to my principles more than for having achieved some overarching goal. This perspective, even before I recognized it, has had a profound influence on how I view the world. The early portion of my adult life was focused on identifing those core principles that would serve to define all the rest of my life. Of course, this process was subconscious; I see it now only in retrospect.

At this point, I am interested most in coming to terms with how those core principles are lived out. For me then, this means that the central task in life is understanding; and the actual living is a natural outflow of this understanding.

What are these core principles? Giving a coherent answer to this question is the current task in my life. Right now, my best answer is to say that I see two basic truths from which all truth flows. First, I believe that there is an objective reality from which my perceptions flow; second, I believe that human freedom is real, not an illusion triggered by some quantum principle. Additionally, I believe that human relationships are significant, but I am not sure but what this may not follow logically from the first two.